The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Image
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 1694 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: An epic adventure of good against evil, a story of the power of friendship and individual courage, and the heroic quest to pave the way for the emergence of mankind, J.R.R. Tolkien's master work brought to cinematic life. (New Line Cinema)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Jackson surpasses the expectations anyone might have had for him with The Fellowship of the Ring, the first installment of his trilogy devoted to J.R.R. Tolkien's masterwork.
  2. 100
    So consistently involving because the excellent cast delivers their lines with the kind of utter conviction not seen in this kind of movie since the first "Star Wars."
  3. 100
    I see it as nearly perfect: It's one of the best fantasy pictures ever made.
  4. The film's single downside is a certain nagging sense of deja vu: the fact that so many of the elements of the story -- the dark force, the all-empowering object, etc. -- have been usurped over the years (by "Star Wars" and others) that you feel as if you've been down this road many, many times before.
  5. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: David Denby
    90
    Consistently beautiful and often exciting -- despite some dead passages here and there, it's surely the best big-budget fantasy movie in years. [24 & 31 Dec 2001, p. 126]
  6. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    80
    Probably the best comment I could give it is that after sitting through the first two and 1/2 hours, I would have happily sat through another five. How long am I going to have to wait for that DVD Box Set?
  7. It's full of scenic splendors with a fine sense of scale, but its narrative thrust seems relatively pro forma, and I was bored by the battle scenes.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 407
  1. RandyM.
    Apr 22, 2007
    10
    An epic movie if I ever saw one. Captivating and just plain fun to watch. This movie is, indeed, art.
  2. RobbyZ.
    Apr 8, 2010
    10
    Extraordinary. Wondrous to behold.
  3. Feb 2, 2014
    10
    The first Lord of the Rings is the best. I'm not one to flock to sci-fi movies, but I find this series to be the epitome of the genre. All ofThe first Lord of the Rings is the best. I'm not one to flock to sci-fi movies, but I find this series to be the epitome of the genre. All of the movies can be enjoyed by almost anyone, and not just fans, which makes these movies even more amazing. Expand
  4. Feb 28, 2013
    10
    A great film. When I watched the first 20 min of the film it had me. One great scene after another, great fantasy plot and awesome music.A great film. When I watched the first 20 min of the film it had me. One great scene after another, great fantasy plot and awesome music. Deserves nothing less than the full score. Expand
  5. May 19, 2013
    9
    Although somewhat inconsistent the first installment of the trilogy by Peter J. reach its goal, which is introduced in the magical world ofAlthough somewhat inconsistent the first installment of the trilogy by Peter J. reach its goal, which is introduced in the magical world of Tolkien,with good characters and a broad cast the film holds the attention in ways never seen, and leaves us eager to see the sequel. Expand
  6. Apr 17, 2016
    9
    “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first installment in Peter Jackson’s vigorous and faithful adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy, looks to“The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first installment in Peter Jackson’s vigorous and faithful adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy, looks to please the book’s legions of fans with its imaginatively scrupulous rendering of the tome’s characters and worlds on the screen, as well as the uninitiated with its uninterrupted flow of incident and spectacle.

    Partially adapted for the screen once before by Ralph Bakshi in an unsuccessful 1978 animated version, Tolkien’s 1,000-page yarn poses all manner of challenges for a screen transfer — imaginative, logistical and financial. With the final bill likely to come in somewhere near $400 million when production and marketing costs are all tallied, one has to credit New Line Cinema with a tremendous amount of guts for shooting the moon for all three pictures with a young New Zealand director with only one genuinely notable, and small-scaled, film (“Heavenly Creatures”) to his credit.

    But Jackson must have convinced someone that he would do it right, a view thoroughly borne out by what’s up on the screen. Evocatively delineating the many aspects of Middle-Earth on tremendously diverse locations in New Zealand in resourceful collaboration with a massive crew, Jackson keeps a firm hand on the work’s central themes of good versus evil, rising to the occasion and group loyalty in the face of adversity, and always keeps things moving without getting bogged down in frills or effects for effects’ sake.

    Pic’s main problem, however, is inherent in the odyssey-like structure of the tale; the “and then, and then, and then” nature of the narrative becomes necessarily repetitive and even a bit wearisome at times, and ultimately arbitrary in the sense that one battle more or less with the Orcs, Ringwraiths or Uruk-Hai wouldn’t have made much difference. Lack of dramatic arcs involving rising action, relaxation and interconnecting story strands unfortunately makes the film’s running time feel pretty much like the three hours it is.

    It’s all about the ring, of course, the One Ring which, in a potent prologue that out-mummies “The Mummy” in terms of sweeping combat, is shown being forged by the malevolent Sauron as a source of dark power, being lost in battle and finally disappearing for 3,000 years until it’s retrieved by an unlikely Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm). Perfectly mirroring the opening chapters of the book as if to reassure the faithful millions that its intentions are honorable, film depicts old Bilbo being urged by his old friend, the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), to leave the ring behind for his adopted nephew Frodo (Elijah Wood), who has now come of age but knows nothing of the ring, its legacy or power.

    Early stretches are obliged to pack in a great deal of exposition, but screenwriters Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Jackson make it go down easily by mixing in agreeable doses of action and character work. Bilbo takes off but Gandalf keeps turning up whenever he’s needed to mentor the reluctant Ringbearer, who, with his best friend Sam (Sean Astin) and mirthsome buddies Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), set out from the Shire with one purpose: to return the ring to Mount Doom in dreaded Mordor, where it was created and the only place it can be destroyed, so as to save civilization from the full force of evil that would be unleashed should it fall back into the wrong hands.

    Much, of course, stands in their way. For starters, the ring itself “wants” to be returned to evildoers who can fulfill its potential, forces now represented by turncoat wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee), who gathers an army of fearsome fighting monsters in order to capture the gold. There are also relentless Dark Riders, marauding swordsmen, natural catastrophes and airborne spies, which give Saruman a clear picture of where they are.

    After innumerable confrontations, fights and close shaves — most cinematically notable an exciting chase in which Arwen, with an injured Frodo onboard, outflanks a posse of Dark Riders — “Fellowship” has its first climax in the Mines of Moria, a corpse-strewn complex of caves and vaulting chambers where the valiant band is attacked by ghastly Orcs, including one giant ogre who looks like the illegitimate brother of a supporting player in “Harry Potter.” Once the group has made its daring escape, it is attacked again in a forest, from which Frodo must flee before setting out for Mordor and the sequel, “The Two Towers.”

    The film also very well handles the matter of perspective and height differentiation between the Hobbits and Dwarfs.

    While he has perhaps not written a classic epic adventure score in the manner of Korngold, Rozsa or Steiner, Howard Shore has composed two hours of music that is constantly supportive, creative and complementary to the action. As such, it represents an object lesson that handily points up how unnecessarily intrusive and insufferably distracting John Williams’ work is in “Harry Potter.”
    Expand
  7. NiggA
    Oct 23, 2007
    0
    It sucked my left nut on the right side bullshit it sucked both the balls freestyle that shit and eat it.

See all 407 User Reviews

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